Did you see the Renegade Gardener’s 2012 High Spot/Black Spot awards? I don’t always catch these, but Renegade Gardener Don Engebretson (award-winning Minnesota garden writer and designer) is recently a Facebook friend and that made it easier. There was much to love in this year’s batch of awards, but what I enjoy most are Engebretson’s trenchant comments on each awardee. To wit:

High Spot Award: Perennial of the Year: Martagon Lilies: “You aren’t gardening until you master bulbs.”
There’s more but this endorsement of bulb gardening hits to the heart of my gardening mission. Bulbs are why I garden, and martagons are some of the most rewarding bulbs I have ever planted. I am not crazy about the new hybrids, though. The original pink species remain my favorites. I am glad they are well established in my semi-shade.

 Black Spot Award: Scotts Miracle-Gro Company Guilty of Violations of Federal Pesticide Laws: “Do you see, Garden Writers Association (GWA)? This is why you don’t accept sponsorship cash from garden industry corporations, when part of your members’ responsibilities are reporting on garden industry corporations. When Scotts became an official sponsor of the GWA a few years back, some members quit, including yours truly.”
Hear, hear. I was a member of GWA for exactly one year. That was enough.

Black Spot Award: Dumbest Faux Trend: Matching Plants to Pantone Colors: “From yet another unfortunately electronic e-mail newsletter: ‘Pantone, the world’s color authority, has announced three shades of green will be the hot colors in spring 2013. Green is the ‘little black dress’ of the garden!’ Excuse me? Green is the soiled, gray sweat pants balled up in the bottom of the laundry hamper of the garden.”
I have always had utter disdain for color forecasting to begin with, but that was when it was for home design and clothes. And now, for plants? Really? And the color is … green?  It makes no sense to pay attention to color trends, ever, because you can’t change your colors often enough to keep up, even if you wanted to.  Color is important in the garden, but not color trends. There’s a difference.

I don’t agree with all of the Renegade’s iconoclastic awards—most important, I disagree with his views on GMOs—but posts like his are needed more than ever in the gardening world. Check it out!